Johannesburg - The matric class of 2018 has achieved an impressive 78.2% pass rate, beating 75.1% of 2017.
An elated Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the results in Midrand, Johannesburg, on Thursday evening.
She said the improved passes were a clear indication that the quality of public education in the country was improving. Significantly, no province achieved a pass rate below 60%.
“One of the reasons we are excited about the general upward trend in our Grade 12 results, is that we know this is a manifestation of improvements occurring at all levels of the schooling system,” Motshekga said.
But more still needed to be done, she said. “We will be the first to concede that despite the notable stability of and improvements in the system, we are yet to cross our own Rubicon.
“We must agree that much has been achieved, but much more needs to be done in the areas of efficiency and quality,” said Motshekga.
A total of 624 733 matrics wrote as full-time candidates in 2018. This was a decline from the over 629 000 that wrote in 2017. The 78.2% pass rate meant 400 761 candidates passed matric.
The national pass rate includes 20 122 progressed matrics who managed to complete school. Some 2 676 of them achieved bachelor passes. A total of 33 412 progressed learners, who were promoted despite failing Grade 11, wrote.
Gauteng claimed the number one position in the 2018 matric results, achieving a 87.9% matric pass rate. They were followed closely by the Free State, which moved to second, achieving 87.5%.
With a 81.5% pass rate, the Western Cape took third position - while the North West was fourth with 81.1%.
Mpumalanga attained a 79% pass rate, claiming fifth spot, while KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) achieved 76.2%, claiming sixth position.
At seventh was the Northern Cape with 73.3%, while the Eastern Cape scored 70.6%, achieving the biggest improvement of 5.6%. Limpopo came last with 69.4%, but still improved from their 67.4% pass rate in 2017.
Addressing progressed matrics, Motshekga said Gauteng had the highest number of progressed matrics passing, with 70.3%, while the Western Cape saw the lowest with just over 33.6%.
The Free State saw 65.2% progressed matrics passing, Mpumalanga 64.7%,KZN 63.4%, North West 56.9%, the Eastern Cape 56.5% and the Northern Cape’s 40.2%. Limpopo’s figures were not immediately issued.
Motshekga: We have to remember that to further improve the output of the schooling system and to do that we have to improve the fundamentals of learning and education well before grade 12. #MatricResults2018pic.twitter.com/0mjPraM2lQ
Motshekga also announced an impressive increase of matriculants achieving passes that allow them to enrol for bachelor studies at varsities. These shot up by 33.6%, jumping to 172 043 from 153 610 of 2017.
Motshekga: 8million questions papers were prepared. We had 65000 invigilators. This is also the first group that sat for the 12 new subjects. We also for the first time presented learner for civil technologies, technical maths and science. #MatricResults2018pic.twitter.com/OetaHRxtAs